The Poor are Always Sick

Sophocles, fr. 354 [perhaps from the Creusa]

“Don’t be at all surprised that I hold on to my money,
Lord, Even mortals who have immense wealth
Still clutch to profits when humans put everything
In second place after money.
Some people envy the person who isn’t sick.
But no poor person seems healthy to me—the poor are always sick.”

καὶ μή τι θαυμάσῃς με τοῦ κέρδους, ἄναξ,
ὧδ᾿ ἀντέχεσθαι. καὶ γὰρ οἳ πλοῦτον μακρὸν
θνητῶν ἔχουσι, τοῦ γε κερδαίνειν ὅμως
ἀπρὶξ ἔχονται, κἄστι πρὸς τὰ χρήματα
θνητοῖσι τἆλλα δεύτερ᾿. εἰσὶ δ᾿ οἵτινες
αἰνοῦσιν ἄνοσον ἄνδρ᾿· ἐμοὶ δ᾿ οὐδεὶς δοκεῖ
εἶναι πένης ὢν ἄνοσος, ἀλλ᾿ ἀεὶ νοσεῖν.

Fr. 256

“The most noble thing is to be just.
The best thing is to live without sickness.
But the most pleasurable is to have the power
To take what you want every day.”

κάλλιστόν ἐστι τοὔνδικον πεφυκέναι,
λῷστον δὲ τὸ ζῆν ἄνοσον, ἥδιστον δ᾿ ὅτῳ
πάρεστι λῆψις ὧν ἐρᾷ καθ᾿ ἡμέραν

Asclepius arrives in Kos, Greeted by Hippocrates

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